Noor Davis to make decision Friday

The Villages (FL) linebacker Noor Davis talks about his favorite schools in this unedited letter to GatorCountry. Davis will make his final college decision on Friday.

By Noor Davis

First and foremost, I would like to thank God for blessing me with these wonderful recruiting opportunities and experiences.

However, I accept these blessings with great humility as I am mindful of those who have not yet experienced the same.

Since September of last year, and actually even before, I have been involved in the recruiting process. From letters to unofficial visits to telephone conversations to recruiter’s school visits to recruiter’s school practice evaluations…it has been a very hectic, but exciting time for me.

Never before has my school had a Division I football recruit, so this experience is also their first. I carry this distinction proudly and I am happy to represent my school and my community. Hopefully this attention will create future opportunities for others.

I would like to take this time to thank my parents for their efforts to promote and market me from relative obscurity to national attention. They spent countless hours writing letters, producing videos, and making telephone calls on my behalf. They were my voice when I could not speak. I want to thank them for believing in me when others did not. I would also like to thank my father for teaching me more than just the nuances of football, but most importantly about life, humility, integrity, compassion and respect for others. It was my father who reached out to his numerous contacts throughout the coaching world to alert them to my growth and development. He also produced and arranged my highlight videos to increase my marketability. Although he will never say it, as he prefers to remain in the shadows, he is responsible for my success! He is the one who trains with me in the sweltering Florida summer heat…running routes as a wide receiver as I play quarterback or serving as my lifting and conditioning partner. Thank you Daddy! My little brother, Gabriel, also helps with snapping the ball to me and running striders. He is extremely athletic and fast…so you might want to remember his name! :) I would like to thank my Mama for keeping me focused in school, in nutrition, and being my personal trainer when Daddy was not available. You have pushed me extremely hard in the classroom and as a result, I have had the great privilege of being recruited by so many wonderful schools! Thank you Mama! So you see…I am extremely blessed!

As exciting as it has been to have been recruited and offered by so many outstanding universities, it is equally difficult in narrowing down this amazing list to just five schools. As a 16 year old, this is one of the toughest things that I have ever had to do. My parents have encouraged me, after doing my extensive research…to just follow my heart! College is not simply about playing football. I am very focused on earning a quality education.

My Top Five College selections are as follows: Notre Dame, Florida, Stanford, Alabama, and the University of Southern California.

Notre Dame – I had a great trip to Notre Dame. I was so impressed with the religion on campus. It wasn’t just the Catholicism, but the overall ministry for God. The coaches took a lot of time with me. I had the opportunity to meet with all of the coaches, most of the players, and in total I spent eight hours touring the campus and all of the football facilities. It is such a great place. I knew their history was great, but seeing it visually was even more special. I saw the seven Heisman Trophy winners, the 11 National Championships that they have won, all of the bowl games, accolades, and everything that the program is about. The coaches stated that Notre Dame is going to compete for more National Championships and that they are going to win one soon. They want me to play the outside linebacker positions. They really feel that I can make a difference in that role. Coach Brian Kelly was great in our meeting and so were all of the other coaches. Notre Dame is such a great academic institution with a powerful alumni base.

Florida – The University of Florida has outstanding academic programs and great athletics. They have an awesome business school and communications department. Coach Muschamp said that I could fit in an impactful way playing the SAM linebacker spot. In the 3-4 I would be down on the line and in the 4-3 I would be back in a stack position. They feel that I can do a lot of things off the edge as a pass rusher, but also as a flat coverage guy. I can do a lot of different things that can throw an offense off. They play in the SEC which is a great conference. Florida is an outstanding school and it is very close to where I live. The place where I live is pretty big Gator Country and all of my friends and neighbors are fans. My parents and especially my little brother could be a part of my college experience.

Stanford – When you mention Stanford University, people across the world know what an outstanding academic institution Stanford is. I established great rapport and a strong relationship with Coach Shaw and all of their coaches. Their graduation rate is one of the best in the nation. I absolutely love their defensive package. They are very aggressive. I watched them play in the Orange Bowl and I loved the way their defense attacked. They kept constant pressure on Tyrod Taylor and I envisioned myself in that position trying to make plays. I am also being recruited by Stanford Baseball as well. Football, baseball, and distance considerations will all take back seat to academics when it comes time to making my college decision. My family is very big on me being a student-athlete, where the student comes first. They have really pushed me hard in the classroom and I know Stanford University will challenge me in the same way.

Alabama – The University of Alabama is an icon in the college football world. From national championships to All-Americans to producing professional athletes…their football program is the epitome of success. Their stadium holds over 100,000 die-hard fans and they play in arguably the toughest conference in the country…the SEC. I have watched them over the years and their 3-4 defense is extremely appealing to me. I see myself as a traditional outside linebacker who can excel at the first level…using my hands and shoulders on offensive tackles and tight ends or using my speed off the edge as a pass rusher or dropping in space to defend the pass. Alabama has an outstanding business program which I intend to major in and to also pursue my Master’s Degree. I have developed great rapport with Coach Saban and Coach Williams.

University of Southern California – Despite all of the issues that have recently happened, USC has always been a powerhouse football program and a great school. From Heisman Trophy Winners to National Championships to their history of producing All-American linebackers…they are just a great program. They are outstanding academically. My aunt attended and graduated from USC. I was born in Los Angeles and I have numerous family members in the area, so it’s just a great, great option to have. It’s a great school so you really can’t go wrong both academically or athletically. Southern California is such a great place to call home and there are so many different things to do there.

After careful review and consideration, these are my Top Five selections.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of the countless coaches who recruited me, the sports writers who interviewed and promoted me, and the fans who supported me. I am grateful to all of the other coaches who believed in my abilities. Thank you so much! This was a very difficult decision for me. All of the of the universities that recruited me were outstanding and I have met so many wonderful coaches!

Thank you all! God Bless!

Noor Davis